Skinny to defined / muscular transformation stories

  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Jul 07, 2008 9:03 PM GMT
    Do any of you have transformation stories about changing from a skinny or slender build to a more muscular build?

    I know that there are a few guys here on RJ who are aiming for this kind of transformation and presume that more than a few have gone through it.

    A couple of YouTube sample videos:
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    Jul 07, 2008 10:05 PM GMT
    I am currently on the road to of that transformation myself
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    Jul 07, 2008 10:47 PM GMT
    yes, i can relate to this. 18 months ago I weighed around 125# (at 5'11") with 12% bf (recovering anorexic here). Today, I'm 185# with 9% bf. It took a lot of work and a lot of food, but you can get there. Still gaining and hope to be at 200# as quickly as possible.

    To people who are looking to gain muscle mass, here's my take:

    1) Know that you will have periods when you will plateau - its a natural part of the cycle of gaining weight and muscle. don't get frustrated, but if you hit a plateau, try mixing up your workout routines to do something new that will "shock" the muscles

    2) Don't do steroids - the results may be dramatic in the short term, but invariably, you will lose the size once you stop the 'roids. Plus it makes your stomach and your waistline expand and you will never be able to shrink them again. I see guys in the gym all the time who do 'roids, and you can tell by watching their waistlines. Besides, it's really bad on your liver and other organs.

    3) Realize that you may have to sacrifice some goals in the short-term to reach your long-term goals. Case in point: I'm very sensitive to my stomach area and NOT having a 6 pack. It drives me nuts. But during my process, I had periods where I lost my 6 pack and had a bit of a gut. Part of this was diet - my body was getting used to a new amount of calories as well as new types of food and a new eating regimen. Part of it was the Muscle Milk protein drinks I was taking. I had to consciously tell myself that my stomach would be fine and would fluctuate.

    4) Educate yourself - read everything you can get your hands on, try new things, and most of all, don't look for the shortcuts. They don't exist (especially for ectomorphs).

    5) Don't blindly follow anyone's advice - not even a magazines. Find out what works best for your body and if need be, find someone to train with who will inspire you and egg you on. Don't work out with anyone who doesn't share your goals or who is not supportive of your initiative.

    6) Be patient - the process of changing your body is no less difficult than changing anything else. You'll have bad days and good days. You'll have days when people tell you you look great and days when you'll feel like a bloated blob. The results pay off in the end.

    Hope this helps.
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    Jul 07, 2008 11:25 PM GMT
    #6 is some really good advice... and just what I needed to read today. No matter what my back workouts usually suck. It's my weakest area, for sure, and I never feel like it's been worked out hard enough (even though it gets sore the next day).
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    Jul 08, 2008 7:14 AM GMT
    Back was a pisser for me too, for years.


    Then, one day, I decided -- oh, I'm gonna try using lifting straps like those cool looking guys do (this was a mostly straight Gold's with lots of big bodybuilders).

    After practicing at home so I wouldn't look foolish putting them on upside down and backwards, I was able to increase the weights pretty dramatically on my lat pulldowns and dumbell rows, and started seeing results in weeks. For us naturally thin types (I hate the word "skinny"), you often need a certain minimum muscle size to really "feel" an exercise -- a sort of minimum mass bar. The straps helped me to cross over this minimum bar and I finally began to feel a pump in my back, which I never experienced before.

    That said, I think straps and belts are crutches and have mostly long-term negative effects (unless you're a huge roid monster or pro powerlifter or something), so I eventually stopped using them, but short term, they helped me break thru a plateau I was sitting at for...

    wait for it...


    I often find it's something silly like this (e.g. a different grip, a change of gyms forcing you to use a different routine, a new machine in the gym that works for you, or all-of-a-sudden just saying fuck it and trying to lift really heavy and discovering you could all along, etc.)

    So if you're stuck, yes, sometimes your body just isn't going to move until it's ready, and patience is what wins. But at the same time, you still need to rejigger stuff constantly in the hope that eventually you can get the wheels out of the rut. And eventually you will.

    Stick with it men! And, uh...stick to the... er... ah... stick!


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    Jul 08, 2008 7:35 AM GMT
    I used to be thin as a pin. Freshman year of university I weighed 145 at 5'10". Until I was about 25 I ran, swam and biked like a fiend so never gained any weight until I finally got fed up and changed my routine and started lifting seriously. I wanted to be more like the hot muscle men in the magazines! I'm still on the road to where I want to be 14 years later, but now I'm a solid 203.

    Somewhere in the middle of my transformation, a guy at a bar came up to me and said 'Congratulations on your body,' which some might find complimentary. However, I didn't win it! It didn't just appear as a prize. I worked my ass off for it. And I still have to work bloody hard.

    Transformation = lots of hard, hard work, discipline and some sacrifice

    But, it's all worth it! icon_biggrin.gif
  • Hunkymonkey

    Posts: 215

    Jul 09, 2008 5:56 AM GMT
    Lots of good advice in this thread. I came from the same place: 133 Lb up to 205 Lb (at the moment). Here's my take.

    The first key to it all is what you eat and how much. Don't underestimate that. Most people DO NOT eat the amount of calories they think they are eating when trying to grow. Food volume does not equal caloric value. You MUST get more calories than you burn. Also get lots of protein. Try to eat every 3 hours, alternating between meals and carb/protein shakes. Even if you get a little fat along the way, don't worry, if the long term goal is size. You can worry about dieting later, but with research you will find there are foods & supplements you can add that will help you grow and stave off the fat (fish oil, r-ala, l-carnitine, and poliquin's fenuplex, for examples). My rule: a 6 pack is only good for getting a straight guy drunk.

    The other key is consistency in your training. You don't have to train every single day. In fact, you shouldn't. But over the course of time, you need to be regular about getting to the gym. It's a long term process. Personally, I believe heavy weights and lower reps build bigger muscles. Not stupid heavy, but heavy that maxes you out safely, since you need to be concerned about joints, ligaments, and tendons as well. Some body parts are going to just pop out, others are going to lag. Which ones depend on your genetic map. For example, I am unblessed with small calves, so they get extra priority and slowly-slowly, it's paying off. On the other hand, I hardly train my back and tris and they keep growing. So find a strategy to work the lagging parts. Lots of guys neglect their legs. Do your legs. Symmetry is really important. No one wants to look like (or look at) a turnip. Read up and try out different routines to find what works for you. I think it takes 4 to 8 weeks to really see how a routine goes. Change things around periodically so you don't get "stale" for lack of a better word.

    Steroids? Optional, but definitely not in the first few years. Get your training figured out first. It'll pay permanent dividends. I wasted the first 10 - 15 years, now I am catching up. Otherwise, you'll be pissing away your roid money. Literally. Meanwhile, consider fadogia agrestis (better) or tribulus terrestris for a natural, relatively safe way to get your body to produce more testosterone. I'd say skip pro-hormones. Pro-hormones are basically 1 step away from real steroids. In other words, they they transmute into steroids in your body and have the same effects and side effects, but because they come from supplements companies and you have to take them frequently (they are not long-acting like some steroid depots), they will rape your budget.

    Good luck.
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    Jul 09, 2008 6:38 AM GMT
    PhxAriz08 saidWhen I was at my gym, I have notice I lift weight heavier than some guys that look bigger and stronger. I was thinking maybe because my bones are small or thinner? Because I know some guys have bigger bones that make them big and stronger.

    I think there's a stronger correlation between length of your bones and strength than there is between their "largeness or thinness." The reason is simple mechanics -- specifically lever/fulcrum, which is what a lot of our body movement is based on. And it's likely the opposite of what you're thinking.

    Shorter guys with shorter arms and legs have to do less work to lift a given weight than taller guys with longer arms and legs.

    So are you shorter than these other guys you think aren't as strong as you? If so, I'm brilliant. If not, well... I'm still quite nice, at least says my mom.
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    Jul 09, 2008 6:51 AM GMT
    There's some really good advice, thanks guys.